Carmen Thyssen Museum, Málaga, Spain

The Carmen Thyssen Museum is an art museum in the Spanish city Málaga. The main focus of the museum is 19th-century Spanish painting, predominantly Andalusian, based on the collection of Carmen Cervera, third wife of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Carmen Thyssen Museum are a museum dedicated to conservation, research and the dissemination of the Carmen Thyssen Collection in order to emphasize the value of Spanish painting, especially that of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, fully referenced in its historical and artistic context, for the understanding of all audiences, which forms part of Malaga’s strategy as a cultural city.

Carmen Thyssen Museum aim to become an international benchmark for our contribution to nineteenth century art in Spain, through the conservation of our Permanent Collection and temporary exhibitions that facilitate their interpretation. In addition, for our emphasis on the value of the Roman archaeological site, for our dynamic cross-cutting programme of cultural and educational activities dedicated especially to younger audiences, and for an approach that is always open to collaboration with other cultural and social institutions.

Furthermore, for our model of museum management focused on the commitment to better service to our different stakeholders, as well as the incorporation of new technologies, and a comprehensive vision of the space, from a design perspective, incorporating complementary uses and comfort. The gallery offers more virtual exhibitions that can be viewed for free on its website. Note that these virtual exhibit needs to allow the Falsh plugin.

The purpose-built museum was developed by RG Arquitectos Asociados around the 16th century Baroque Palacio de Villalón, which was partly reconstructed on this occasion. The exhibition spaces, three rooms for the permanent collection and two for temporary exhibitions, were newly built next to the palace, which houses the Old Masters collection. Overall, the museum covers 7,147 square metres, of which 5,185 can be used to display art.

The museum is housed in the Palace of Villalón, taking advantage of several adjacent buildings as exhibition spaces, rooms and offices, and was inaugurated on March 24 of the 2011. The facilities include, in addition to the exhibition halls dedicated to the Carmen Thyssen Collection, the headquarters of its foundation, a library, rooms for temporary exhibitions, didactic classroom, auditorium, the museum shop, the restoration section and an archaeological exhibition hall, the latter waiting to be open to the public.

The Renaissance-style building, dating from the 16th century, was destined after its restoration to house the collection that Baroness widow Carmen Cervera had agreed to cede to Malaga after a series of conversations with the City Council. This restoration took a period of four years from 2007 to 2011, in which the rehabilitation and inclusion of two other properties to the principal was also discussed. The central construction resulted in a structure with double inner main patio plant, adding another small size boots from tower attachedChurch of the Holy Christ of Health.

The museum has 285 works that are part of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, and takes a tour of the different genres of 19th-century Spanish painting, from Romanticism to the beginnings of modernity in the first decades of the 20th century, paying special attention to Andalusian painting. The initial agreement signed establishes that the institution has the paintings available until 2025. However, a possible loan extension was contemplated.

It is articulated in four sections:

Ancient Masters, by way of introduction in what used to be the chapel of the Villalón Palace, with works dating back to the 17th century, with Francisco de Zurbarán and Jerónimo Ezquerra, at the head.

Romantic landscape and customs, which reflects the vision that romantic travelers had of Spain, of its past, Moorish architecture, gypsies, bullfights, parties, flamenco, etc. Fritz Bamberger and his ‘Landscape of the Estepona Coast’ open this space, which is composed of works by Genaro Pérez Villaamil, Rafael Benjumea, José García Ramos or Guillermo Gómez Gil, among others.

Preciousness and naturalistic landscape, which demonstrates the profound evolution that, during the second half of the nineteenth century, Spanish painting underwent small-scale, colorful and careful works in small details, the so-called precious painting, and on the other, the transformations from the romantic subjectivist landscape towards the most realistic landscape of naturalism. Here are works by artists such as Mariano Fortuny, José Benlliure, Raimundo de Madrazo, José Moreno Carbonero or Emilio Sala, and landscapers such as Carlos de Haes, Martín Rico or Sánchez Perrier.

End of the century, which reveals how the Spanish painting of the late nineteenth century began to openly dialogue with international painting. Joaquín Sorolla, Aureliano de Beruete, Darío de Regoyos, Ramón Casas, Ricard Canals, Francisco Iturrino or José Gutiérrez Solana are some of its exponents. Special mention in this period deserves Ignacio Zuloaga and Julio Romero de Torres.

Temporary exhibitions
Since its inception, the museum has been organizing temporary exhibitions focused mainly on the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and has several exhibition spaces. Sixteen temporary exhibitions have been organized in the main exhibition hall.

Thematic exhibitions have predominated (on the landscape, Spanish Pop, Spanish realism, Cubism, the Mediterranean, among other themes) and monographs, dedicated to artists from the museum’s collection such as Anglada-Camarasa, Julio Romero de Torres 17, Darío de Regoyos, Casas y Rusiñol and Francisco Iturrino. The museum has expanded its exhibition offer with the use of the Noble Room of the Villalón Palace where small exhibitions are presented, among which Sorolla stands out. Notes from New York, Japan. Engravings and art objects, Goya-Ensor. Dreams on the fly, Gustave Doré. Traveler in Andalusia andHenri Matisse Jazz.

Outstanding works
Niccolò Frangipane, Penitente, 1574
Francisco de Zurbarán, Santa Marina, ca. 1640-1650
Alfred Dehodencq, a brotherhood passing through Genoa Street, 1851
Mariano Fortuny, Bullfight. Injured Chopper, ca.1867
Martín Rico Ortega, A Summer Day on the Seine, 1870-1875
Emilio Sánchez Perrier, Winter in Andalusia, ca.1880
Manuel Ussel de Guimbarda, Donut Sellers in Seville, 1881
Guillermo Gómez Gil, The Reding Source; By the Fountain, ca.1880-1885
Raimundo Madrazo, Exit of the masquerade ball, ca. 1885
Ignacio Zuloaga, Bullfight in Éibar, 1899
Darío de Regoyos, La Concha, Night view, 1906
Francisco Iturrino, The Bath (Seville), 1908
Ramón Casas, Julia, 1915
Julio Romero de Torres, The Buenaventura, 1922

Archaeological remains
Excavations at the Villalón Palace have offered interesting facts about the history of the city’s past. Built at the beginning of the 14th century, the palace was the residence of different aristocratic families, such as the Villalón and the Mosquera, whose names are named after them. The archaeological project of the palace was developed gradually over several years. According to the statements of José María Gómez Aracil, who runs the municipal office that controls and coordinates the works in the museum, in Malaga there is no archaeological plant of this extension.

In Phase I (until the last quarter of the 1st century AD) of excavations the most notable are the fragment of terra sigillata italic dated between 15 and 90, another fragment of plate ofterra sigillata africana from 75 to 150 d. C. and two fragments of terra sigillata hispanica dated between dated 40 and 150. Phase II (late 1st century AD – early 3rd century AD) reveals the basic structure of occupancy levels, where domestic spaces differ with belonging facilities. During Phase III (early 3rd century AD – mid 4th century AD) it is confirmed that these spaces remained in use until the fourth century, when abandonment and destruction of the built complex occurs. Thanks to the investigations of Phase IV (second half of the fourth century AD – first half of the fifth century AD) it is contrasted that during the second half of the fourth century there is a revitalization of the area.

One of the most striking discoveries that have been made during the archaeological excavations in the subsoil, has to do with the remains of a monumental fountain built at the end of the 1st century AD, partially exhumed, which presents a high quality pictorial decoration. Among the findings found, there was a nymph decorated with figurative paintings of fish, but also pools of salted fish factories and a necropolis of the late-ancient period, probably Byzantine. The ninfeo would present the figure of the regent of the town, whose welfare would depend on the capture and commercialization of the represented fish. Its cultural historical value is elevated by the fact of being the only rest with these characteristics found in the city.

Following the Roman conquest of the Hellenistic East, the Greek term passed into Latin as ” nymphaeum ” until eventually it came to mean great sources of monumental character. In the courtyards all the pieces found during the excavations are kept, strictly following the rules of the Delegation of Culture. During the rehabilitation works in the basement of the Renaissance palace, archaeological remains belonging to Imperial Rome were found. The basement of the Museo Carmen Thyssen houses the remains of a domus Roman of the II century buildings renovated and maintained until the fifth century.

Guided tours
The Museo Carmen Thyssen has a team of artistic guides who offer guided visits in different modalities and languages, aimed at making the Permanent Collection and temporary exhibitions accessible to the public, as well as covering different thematic itineraries.

Through these guided tours the Museum offers an enriching and educational visit to the Museum that reveals the most important works and the temporary displays in our exhibition programme.

Thematic tours
Through the proposed guided tours, the Museum offers ways to enjoy and understand the Collection, complementary to the usual chronological route. Individualized readings on the styles of the nineteenth and early twentieth century and the numerous themes that the various artistic genres addressed were addressed.

Flamenco in the Carmen Thyssen Collection
Itinerary for the costumbristas, Spanish and foreign representations of flamenco in the painting of the Collection.

Patios and gardens in the Carmen Thyssen Collection
Approach to a costumbrista theme closely linked to Andalusian daily life, in colorful and bright works.

Gastronomy in the Carmen Thyssen Collection
Guided tour of a selection of works from the Collection and subsequent tasting menu inspired by them in the Museum Cafeteria.

Carnival in the Carmen Thyssen Collection
Tour of the iconography of masquerade balls and costumes in the bustling nightlife of the late nineteenth century.